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Overview

General practitioners examine, question and order tests for patients to learn about their health. They provide medical care for patients, prescribe medications, offer generalist treatments and refer patients to specialists if required.

Work is usually based in community medical centres and community health clinics. Visits to patient residences is possible in some roles.

Suitable for people with an interest in science and caring for others. Skills in active listening, reading comprehension, critical thinking and decision making are important.

Day-to-day

  • consult with and examine patients to diagnose their health issues
  • order laboratory tests, x-rays and other diagnostic procedures
  • interpret test results to work towards a diagnosis
  • monitor patient progress and response to treatment
  • prescribe and administer medicines
  • perform minor surgery
  • recommend heathy diet and exercise and other behaviours to prevent and manage disease
  • report births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities
  • arrange the admission of patients to hospitals.

Considerations

  • stressful.

To become a General Practitioner

  • A Bachelor of Medicine is the common study pathway. Entry is based on your ATAR score, an Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and an interview.

    A related degree such as a Bachelor of Biomedical Science or Health Science, followed by a Masters of Medicine is an alternative pathway. Entry is based on the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and an interview.

    Find a Bachelor of Medicine

  • You will also need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • to be up to date with immunisations.

Skills employers are looking for

  • General Practice

  • Pathology

  • Family Medicine

  • Communication Skills

  • Working With Patient And/Or Condition: Chronic Disease

  • Nursing Support

Careers to explore